DIY Car Mechanics – When Not to Do It Yourself
The number of people that think they’re brilliant car mechanics would easily fill any phone book in any city. The number who actually are good mechanics would fill about half a page. The difference between a pro mechanic and a person thinking they know how to fix a car is the difference between a Ferrari and a piece of cheese. One drives a lot better than the other. When you need car service, you get an expert.
Some very minor things can be understood easily enough, but if you go beyond changing a windscreen wiper, things can get ugly in a hurry. The days when you could do a decent job on a car with a few basic tools and an enthusiastic look on your face are long gone. Modern cars need professional care, because if they don’t get it, they tend to fall to bits.
Modern cars have complex, and sometimes tricky, systems. One of the reasons the major brands have approved services rather than just any old thing is because the systems often contain proprietary parts and in some cases special design features. These things are non-standard, and you need to know how to deal with them.
The other issue is more basic. Safety isn’t an optional extra. A jury-rigged transmission may sound like fun when you’re a teenager, but try dealing with one when it doesn’t feel like cooperating on the road, and you’re in a mess. As a matter of fact you’re quite likely to be a mess, if your car starts objecting to doing things while you’re driving it.
Do what yourself?
The best thing to do for yourself is to pay attention to car problems. Don’t get lazy about weird little sticks in the steering or try to make money making bets on whether the brakes will work. Try to figure out why you feel like you’re driving a pile of broken springs every time you hit the road, and you’ll track down your suspension problems.
Identify the problems and get something done about them. These jobs are way out of the range of DIY, even for good mechanics, without the sort of technical backup required to do them. Even a good wheel alignment is a bit much for good DIY people, and if you think for a moment about the possibilities of your wheels pointing to all directions of the compass, you can predict the results.
Then there’s that little bundle of fun, the engine. Nothing like a nice day’s work sabotaging your car, is there? This is another case where you’re often not just dealing with one problem, and “fixing” one thing may actually make things worse. You could have a perfectly charging car driving some old worn-out thing into the ground, for example.
Imagine, also the benefits of a great motor in a car where everything else is falling to bits. The extra power makes things much worse, almost instantly. The wheels, out of alignment, with all that power, are more dangerous than ever.
Some motorists are good amateur mechanics, but don’t kid yourself. If one thing has gone wrong, it will have affected others. If you need car repair, get a professional, and take the guesswork out of the equation before you drive.